Joe Freyer Picture

Billy Hedden

When Billy Hedden arrives for work every day at Hampton Inn-Anderson, he’s out to engineer the best day possible for everyone. Because he’s one of the friendliest, most authentic, genuinely caring and sincerely thoughtful people within the entire Hampton Inn brand, he earned Hilton Worldwide’s “Spirit of Hampton Award” – the first Paragon Hotel Co. employee ever to win the coveted prize.

The award goes to the Hampton Inn employee – among the brand’s 1,900 properties and 50,000 Team Members worldwide – who personify “Hamptonality.” The term captures every hotel’s approach to friendly customer service, anticipating guests’ needs and providing travelers with helpful suggestions about area attractions, historical facts and fun tidbits.

For Billy, that means taking his work … and his guests and his fellow Team Members … personally. He may be the hotel’s Chief Engineer, but is chief concern, as it has been since he started in 2010, is everyone’s satisfaction.

“When I am taking care of guests, I treat them the way I would want my family treated. When a female guest needs help getting to her car or carrying luggage, I think of my wife and mother and how I would want them taken care of when staying at a hotel. I do my best to meet guests’ needs, and no matter what it is, I try to help them. Seeing their gratitude makes me feel good about myself.

Co-workers cite his never-ending funny stories and silly jokes as day-making smile inducers. Throughout his nearly five years at the 120 Interstate Blvd. property, he also greets all staff members and hotel guests by name, as he works his way from the laundry room to the housekeeping break room to the front desk and back.

That’s the essence of “Hamptonality,” though he’s quick to say: “I was very grateful and fortunate to win the Spirit of Hampton Award, but at the same time feel like I am simply doing my job.”